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  #1  
Old 26 Sep 2010
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Tour Clothing choices?

Having seen some of the Achievable Dream DVD's, it seems like anything goes when it comes to clothing! I'm fairly new to the idea of motorbike travel further than this country, and I'd like to combine protection with comfort in my clothing.

I'm looking at BMW's Trailguard and Rallye 3 suits, as well as Frank Thomas' X Terrain suit. Does anyone have any thoughts on these? Are there other choices that would be better? As a Vegan, they have to be Textile!

Thanks in advance . . . .
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  #2  
Old 26 Sep 2010
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I personally wouldn't touch Frank Thomas stuff, none of it has ever kept water out for very long. Just personal experience over the years.

I think the BMW kit is good, but overpriced.

I recently bought the Hein Gerick Explorer two-piece suit, with a gortex layer, then rode 2500 to the Alps and back. First night was horrendous rain, and it didn't let a drop in - I was very impressed (and pleased!). I have nothing but praise for the suit, which performed perfectly in temps from about 4 degrees up the top of Stelvio, to 35 in the Grand St Bernard tunnel.

Some say HG quality has dropped in recent years, and I can only say the suit I have appears to be top notch so far.
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  #3  
Old 27 Sep 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Endurodude View Post

...

I'm looking at BMW's Trailguard and Rallye 3 suits,

...
Can't say much about the Trailguard. Had the Rallye 2 and now the Rallye 3. Available color choices and schemes are a matter of personal taste. But, functionality, weather and crash protection are superb. Also, the removable Goretex/climate-membrane liner allows comfort in a wide range of temperatures.

On really hot days, i.e. 85 deg. F (28 deg. C) and higher, I remove the climate membrane, open all the vents and wear wicking, fast drying T-shirts and riding under-pants. Any rain is welcome and you dry off quickly.

For those dratted "all-day-cold-rain-riding", I combine the Rallye 3 with the two piece FIRSTGEAR RAINMAN.

I've used the Rallye 2 on a 3 week trip with temperatures ranging from 31-104 deg. F (-1 to + 40 C). It worked great for me and, IMO, well worth the money.
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  #4  
Old 27 Sep 2010
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There are many who will tell you that BMW Rallye Pro suits are overpriced and garish or that they are for E&C wannabe "clowns"
I've done around 14,500 miles in the last thirteen months in my Rallye Pro2, through all sorts of weather, hot/cold/wet/windy etc and, as far as I'm concerned, it's the best bit of kit I've had. I gave it a good spray with TX Direct waterproofing stuff from Cotswold Outdoor just to be on the safe side. After a recent eleven hour ride from Portpatrick in S/W Scotland to Ullapool in N/W Scotland, through some absolutely sh!t weather, the only bits of me that were wet were my wrists/forearms where the water had got in through the gloves.
I think the new R/P3 looks good too. Get one.
Ride safe.

Last edited by Starbeck; 26 Oct 2010 at 13:12.
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  #5  
Old 27 Sep 2010
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I've just replaced my Hein Gericke Voyager II suit with a BMW Rallye 3. The HG has covered 33k miles in just over 2 years and although it's been warm and dry throughout I'm a bit disappointed with the wear rate for such an expensive item. (Don't get me started on the velcro!)

I'd previously looked at the BMW stuff because let's face it, it's technically very good, but had always discounted it on appearances. (There's a reason why it's known as the twat-suit!) This years Rallye 3 is available in black and small bits of yellow so I didn't really have an excuse any more.

First impressions? Armour is much, much better, as is the quality of the construction. Better pockets, removable sleeves (though I'm not sure why this would be a benefit) pocket for camelback, and a removable goretex liner means you can was the suit as a normal garment. Material about the same thickness as the HG Voyager. No thermal liners in the Rallye 3, but works well with heated vest.

Time will tell how the Rallye 3 fares, but initial appearances are that depite costing slightly more than the HG Voyager you do seem to get disproportionately more for your money.

I hope to have some pictures of both garments up on my blog soon. PM me if you want a well used Voyager II!

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  #6  
Old 27 Sep 2010
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Depends where you're going, v hot/humid/freezing/wet etc.

My HG Cruise suit was warm with all the linings but way too hot in the really hot countries and I just didn't wear the jacket which spent most of the time bungee'd on to the back of the bike. In the wet, it absorbed moisture like a sponge despite reproofing and got very cold once wet, dangerously so on the altiplano in Bolivia after getting a soaking which wasn't funny. Combined with a rain-suit, it's ok and stays dry despite the HG salesman insisting I'd never need one. As for protection, don't really know as never really crashed.
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  #7  
Old 27 Sep 2010
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Just some generic observations .

There are two approaches to textile jackets ,one where the waterproof layer is attached to the outer shell ,like Aerostich, and another which has a detachable waterproof inner liner ,like the BMW Rallye.The type with the inner liner are usually better in hot climates where you can remove the waterproofing and open up vents .

One problem with the inner liner approach is that the jacket and pockets are not waterproof and remain sodden with water .If you are riding in the rain for days on end and happen to be camping and have no way of drying the suit it can be a nuisance .Also riding with a wet outer jacket can draw heat from the body very quickly .The inner liner can also channel water into your gloves if you are not careful.

Inner liners on trousers don't make sense to me ,the idea of stopping at the side of the road to take your trews off and then put on an inner liner does not appeal .

[BMW Rallye suits are expensive ,if you need to put on a rain suit on top on cold rainy days ,then IMHO you've just wasted a lot of money .]

If you are going where it's cold and wet it might be better to go for the waterproofing on the outside of the jacket.You do get some degree of ventilation with these jackets but obviously not to the same extent .

Trousers with a bib on the front can be beneficial if your bike does not have a fairing [rainwater can be driven up the gap between jacket and trousers].

There is usually a thermal inner liner as well ,check how this feels ,some are awkward and make you feel like a Michelin man .The better ones can be worn as a casual jacket .Some people buy the jacket without this and substitute a pullover or fleece.Haviing a thermal layer AND a waterproof layer to deal with can be a pain in the arse.

Electric jacket liner and gloves are a huge bonus as well .Don't underestimate how beneficial these can be .Warm'n'Safe is an excellent brand and you get a discount for being a member of this site .Highly recommended.

My BMW Santiago jacket and trousers [which I do not recommend] have leather on the cuffs,collar and inner knees .You might want to check for that on others.

I can thoroughly recommend the Belstaff/BMG Discovery jacket [waterproof outer] .I've had mine for a couple of years and it's 100% waterproof and I've ridden in a lot of rain .BMG [British Motorcycle Gear ]are based in USA but export stuff as well .
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Last edited by Dodger; 28 Sep 2010 at 18:37. Reason: forgot something -
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  #8  
Old 27 Sep 2010
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Fraction of the price of some ""names" is the Polo range.
Great value for something you will probably knacker on a long trip.
Great mail-order service (speak English).

Check out:
https://www.polo-motorrad.de/en/high..._from_store=de

and

https://www.polo-motorrad.de/de/cata...searchfor=shop

John
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  #9  
Old 28 Sep 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Endurodude View Post
Having seen some of the Achievable Dream DVD's, it seems like anything goes when it comes to clothing! I'm fairly new to the idea of motorbike travel further than this country, and I'd like to combine protection with comfort in my clothing.

I'm looking at BMW's Trailguard and Rallye 3 suits, as well as Frank Thomas' X Terrain suit. Does anyone have any thoughts on these? Are there other choices that would be better? As a Vegan, they have to be Textile!

Thanks in advance . . . .
I think Dodger's hit the most important points about rain liners vs. waterproof outsides. I'd add that while I love my Rallye Pro 2, I prefer how Rev'It handles the liners. In Rev'It's gear the rain liner isn't also a half-assed thermal liner. It's just a rain liner and there is a separate thermal liner. The advantage to this is that when you're riding in hot wet weather you don't have to put on a rain liner that's also trying to keep you warm. Plus, as a thermal liner it's not that spectacular. Much better to have a rain liner that's just a rain liner and a thermal liner that can be a really good thermal liner.

I'm torn about waterproof outsides vs waterproof liners. I've had both. The waterproof liner is annoying because it takes time to put in (sometimes the storm sneaks up on you and it takes about 3 minutes to put in the RP2 Liners once you've dug them out of your panniers) and after a good soaking you leave a puddle when you go inside. Plus the outside gets heavier. On the other hand, you get better ventilation on the hot days in suits with rain liners, and I hear you can maintain the waterproof quality of your gear for longer with liners because they're easier to keep clean. Use Nikwax when you wash anything waterproof. Nikwax | Waterproofing, Cleaning and Insect Protection products

The nice thing about waterproof shells is that when it starts to rain all you have to do is zip up your vents. On cooler days I'd just have my front vents open, and when the rain came i'd just zip up while riding and laugh about how awesome and easy it was. "Rain? Who cares?!" But, the best gear generally doesn't have waterpoof shells.

I bought the Rallye Pro 2 because the 3 had just come out and they were trying to clear inventory cheap. I don't regret the decision, but if I were buying a new suit with no discounts I'd go for the Rev'It Defender (if i had plenty of cash) or Sand (if i was on a budget) and add in a back protector for both. Also Rev'It's liners go in faster than the RP2 liners. With that said, the ventilation and armor in the RP2 are excellent.

As for actual clothing, check out ExOfficio's underwear. Very comfortable and very fast drying. Could easily wash it at night and have clean undies in the morning. I wasn't sold on the idea of spending $25 on a pair of underwear until my girlfriend got some and wouldn't stop commenting about how awesome they were for riding. Now I've got two pairs and will probably grab two more before the next trip.

Not sure if Vegans are cool with wool or not but I've gone with Smartwool t-shirts. Expensive, but they dry quickly and don't stink. I wear wool "liner socks" (as thin as a mens dress sock) in the heat and Smartwool snowboarding socks in the cold (again with the not stinking). I've just gotten some Smartwool thermal leggings but it hasn't gotten cold enough in new england for me to try them out yet.
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  #10  
Old 28 Sep 2010
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I've got the BMW SUMMER 2 PANTS. They zip off at the knee, great for when you stop off places. I'm on the road at the moment and wear them everyday, they are great.

I have a Hein Gericke TRG gore-tex jacket. Also excellent

Alt-Berg boots - FANTASTIC
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  #11  
Old 30 Sep 2010
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I'd be strongly considering the new Klim Traverse suit if I was in the market. Might not work for you as I think they have leather in the knee...

Otherwise, I'd be inclined to look at a 2pc Roadcrafter or the BMW Rally. Two of the guys I ride with, one has the roadcrafter the other a rallye2, and they both wear it regardless of weather, roads, etc and seem pretty comfortable and happy with it.

just curious, as a vegan what do you do about boots?
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  #12  
Old 30 Sep 2010
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Thanks to all for the help so far - excellent advice!

Boots are fine - I buy Sidi boots, most of which are made of Lorica (man made). My major problem is Gloves! I CANNOT find decent, protective gloves (knuckle protectors, etc) that AREN'T made of leather; I have to put up with cheap, no-protection textile ones! They're all warm and dry, but I wouldn't want to rely on them if I came off . . . .
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  #13  
Old 30 Sep 2010
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I've got a pair of Riders Goretex gloves with Hard Knucle Protection. They are warm and dry in the winter (£80 mind)

I also can recomend Hein Gerikes Gortex gear (espicialliy if you get there in the sale) for all year riding or Revit OFF track Jacket and Dakar trousers.

The Only problem with the revit stuff is the Water proof is a zip in liner which can catch you out in a flash down pour in the summer.
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  #14  
Old 3 Oct 2010
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Thanks!

Thank you to everyone for their input, it's been a great help.

I've completely changed my original opinion in light of the comments made, and am going to buy a Rev'it jacket / trousers combo., probably either the Cayane Pro or Sand.

I'm still non the wiser with non-leather gloves (with protection), if anyone has any suggestions . . . .
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Old 3 Oct 2010
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